Space debris cataloging of GEO objects by using Meta-Heuristic methods

Zittersteijn, Michiel (2017). Space debris cataloging of GEO objects by using Meta-Heuristic methods. (Dissertation, Astronomisches Institut der Universität Bern, Phil. nat.)

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Currently several thousands of objects are being tracked in the Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) regions through optical means. The problem faced in this framework is that of Multiple Target Tracking (MTT). The MTT problem becomes an NP-hard combinatorial optimization problem as soon as its dimension S becomes S ≥ 3. In regions with a high density of objects the MTT problem will have to have this dimension in order to avoid ambiguous solutions. With the advent of improved sensors and a eightened interest in the problem of space debris, it is expected that the number of tracked objects will grow by an order of magnitude in the near future. This research aims to identify an algorithm capable of addressing the problem of space debris cataloging in the MEO and GEO regions, in particular for highly dense regions, without possessing a restrictive computational complexity. In an attempt to find an approximate solution of sufficient quality several Population Based Meta Heuristic (PBMH) algorithms are implemented and tested on simulated optical measurements. In addition to this,
a novel way of orbit determination is presented which is based on an existing S = 2 tracklet association method. These first results show promise as one of the tested algorithms (the Elitist Genetic Algorithm (EGA)) consistently displays the desired behavior of finding good approximate solutions before reaching the optimum. Furthermore, the results suggest that the algorithm has a polynomial time complexity when finding approximate solutions. The algorithm is also applied to real observations, where it also performs as desired.

Item Type:

Thesis (Dissertation)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Astronomy

UniBE Contributor:

Zittersteijn, Michiel; Schildknecht, Thomas and Vananti, Alessandro


500 Science > 520 Astronomy




Alessandro Vananti

Date Deposited:

10 Jan 2018 10:42

Last Modified:

24 Oct 2019 14:24




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